This is a legacy website for the Behavioural Design Lab. It is no longer updated.
Behavioural Design Lab Subscribe Bird Contact

Making government simpler is complicated

Policy, Psychology, government, nudge

Here’s something a politician would never say: “I’m in favor of complex regulations.” But what would the opposite mean? What would it mean to have “simple” regulations?There are two definitions of “simple” that have come to dominate liberal conversations about government. One is the idea that we should make use of “nudges” in regulation. The other is the idea that we should avoid “kludges.” As it turns out, however, these two definitions conflict with each other —and the battle between them will dominate conversations about the state in the years ahead.

The case for “nudges”

The first definition of a “simple” regulation is one emphasized in Cass Sunstein’s recent book titled Simpler: The Future of Government (also see here). A simple policy is one that simply “nudges” people into one choice or another using a variety of default rules, disclosure requirements, and other market structures. Think, for instance, of rules that require fast-food restaurants to post calories on their menus, or a mortgage that has certain terms clearly marked in disclosures.

Read the rest of the article...

Related content

Executive Order — Using Behavioral Science Insights to Better Serve the American People | whitehouse.gov

Council ‘nudge units’ needed to tackle rising demand, say consultants

How to Nudge People To Smarter Cancer Screening

© 2015 Warwick Business School and the Design Council
jQuery UI Datepicker - Default functionality